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Why We Prune

  • Safety – removing branches that could fall or be causing an obstruction that could lead to injury or property damage
  • Health – removing dead, diseased, damaged, rubbing, or insect infested wood to encourage wound closure and plant vitality
  • Aesthetics – can enhance the natural form and
    character of a plant and stimulate flower production

When to Prune

  • Flowering deciduous trees and shrubs should be pruned immediately after flowering
  • Non-flowering deciduous trees and shrubs ideally should be pruned during the dormant season
  • Evergreens may be pruned after new growth is completed (usually by late spring/early summer)
  • Broadleaf evergreens such as Rhododendron and Azaleas should be pruned immediately after flowering
  • Perennials can be cut back late in the season when flowers and foliage have died being careful not to remove any “green” parts of the plant

Types of Pruners

  • Hand pruners (by-pass type recommended)
  • Loppers (by-pass type recommended)
  • Pruning Saws
  • Hedge trimmers are for hedges only (not recommended)

The diagrams below best describe how to prune.

  • A proper prune does not damage the branch bark collar or the branch bark ridge
  • Alive branches and dead branches are pruned alike
  • Prune shrubs from the inside out to maintain plant aesthetics and natural shape